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See the other side, and a much more realistic depiction
If you research "Inherit the Wind," you'll find it was never intended to be an accurate depiction of the Scopes' trial, but a dark fantasy warning against extreme views. In the process, it has come to represent an extreme view of its own, grossly unlike the real people and trial. This film should be viewed by everyone who has seen Inherit the Wind, especially those who thought it was anything like an accurate, historical representation. Does this film present only one side? yes, it does, but it doesn't distort the truth the way the more famous drama does. Does it show Mencken as a cynical cuss out to make big news? Well, he was, and so were many other reporters of the time. Does it show people supporting forced sterilization and other forms of eugenics? Well, they did, right on up to Supreme Court justices, and they did so on the grounds of evolutionary beliefs. The book that Scopes taught from promoted eugenics as a proper application of knowledge of evolution. Does it downplay the "evidences for evolution" that were entered into the record? Well, a number of those turned out to be misinterpretations and one (Piltdown Man) turned out to be an outright fraud! It does also show that the majority of scientists were in favor of teaching evolution, and that a number of theologians and leading clergymen stood with them. Those who have poorly rated this movie clearly have done so because they hate the idea that their twisted one-sided production has been matched by the other side, perhaps equally one-sided but far closer to the truth, with a lighter tone and a happier ending.

Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception

Confirms my own research and has an uplifting ending
This movie isn't about proving that the UFO phenomenon is real, so much as providing an answer to aspects of it that do appear to be real. I've been interested in the phenomenon since I was a child in the 60s and 70s and there were several UFO "flaps" or excitement over a number of sightings. I noticed early on that the phenomenon seemed to be polarizing -- the experts seemed to fall into one of two camps:

1) True Believers who seemed to accept everything hook, line, and sinker, and often expanded the accounts to include widespread, amazing conspiracies and incredible levels of alien presence and collusion with governments -- and made lots of money with books.

2) Total Debunkers who denied that there was anything at all unusual going on, just perhaps some rare but known phenomena -- swamp gas, mass hallucinations, nightmares, maybe ball lightning. Mostly they seemed to just read reports second-hand and insert such "explanations" for anything and everything and assume that was that. They probably didn't make as much money on books, but one or two did write books and frequently appeared as "experts" in TV coverage and documentaries. Both camps seemed to be wearing blinders, dismissing some things that shouldn't be easily dismissed while accepting what they wanted no matter what. However, I noticed two of the researchers who were highly qualified and did extensive, close research changed their views over time and came to a third, arguably more balanced view: in rare cases, the phenomena was real, not like ordinary known natural phenomena, but also that they didn't fit any conceivable visitation by aliens or humans from the future. Perhaps this is just another form of biased conclusion, but it seems more reasonable to me than the first two, and this movie gives a good introduction with a number of reasons for rejecting the extreme views and goes further, pointing to facts which make the most sense if there are some real phenomena which are caused by neither aliens nor known natural forces. It does however, accept the explanation that the Roswell "crashed UFO" was a Cold War listening device and weather balloon, and that most of the cases have natural explanations. Personally, I suspect the whole story is a bit more complex, with secret government experimental projects playing a larger role than this movie suggests, but overall I think it does a service in presenting a different way of looking at the subject. You may not agree with the final answer that is presented for the cases that go beyond easy explanation by natural events, but if you've only known one or both of the first two views, you really should check this out and at least allow your mind to ponder that there may be "...more things in heaven and earth, ...Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Hamlet, by Shakespeare, as if you didn't know).

King of the Nerds

For Nerds, it's the only game in town!
I don't know what the first reviewer was expecting, but if you're a nerd, you should be well-acquainted with "lowered" (i.e. realistic) expectations. True, nerds come in many flavors, so a reality-show competition is going to be putting up apples against oranges, but so what? What are you going to do, have them all sitting around the campfire, singing Kumbaya and giving speeches about why they're nerds?

Look, it's all in fun, rather tongue-in-cheek overall (losers are "destroyed" by special effects as they leave), although it's serious enough for the contestants, apparently. And really, is it any surprise that someone whose only claim to being a nerd is being a cosplayer can't compete with rocket scientists, chemists, or even dedicated/pro gamers who are also up on all the sci-fi shows and fantasy books?

It is unfortunate, sad, and ironic that there is a "popularity contest" aspect to it, even if it is popularity among fellow nerds, but then, it is entitled "The King of the Nerds," not, "The Nerdiest of Nerds." The final decision comes down to a head-to-head contest.

SO, if you're nerdy, like or are interested in sci-fi, fantasy, science, video games, LARPing, cosplay, musicals, logic puzzles, math, tinkering, robotics, horror movies, superhero comics and movies... I call this a "must see" show! Imagine you are one of the competitors -- match your knowledge to theirs -- cheer on the one most like you, or that you like for some other reason. Just don't get too emotionally attached or take anything too seriously.

Enjoy being a nerd!

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